Solange’s highly anticipated “Orion’s Tour” exceeded all expectations. Solange directed, composed and choreographed her whole set, performing some of her old music and of-course songs from the highly-acclaimed and widely embraced “A Seat at the Table.” The authenticity of every performance combined with the grandiose set-up of Radio City Music Hall made the night of October 2nd, a night to remember and an experience so dear.
Solange performed at Radio City the nights of October 2nd and October 3rd. For the first Radio City date, there were some notable people in attendance such as Joe Budden and activist Deray Mckesson. Joe Budden even hilariously tweeted: “I’m at the Solange concert … she got all the free spirit chicks out in abundance!”
There’s no lie there. The ‘free spirit’ energy and good vibes were all around. Freedom to unapologetically be yourself is something Solange always advocates for; and one could see that reflected in her fans and supporters. And speaking of advocacy, in addition to her advocacy of self-love, Solange is donating 3 dollars from every ticket sold to Hurricane Harvey relief.
At 8:00 pm, opening for Solange were Chassol, Sun Ra Arkestra, and Earl Sweatshirt, in that order. All three were very distinct acts that kept the audience entertained as everyone oh-so-patiently waited for Solange.
Around 10:30 pm, the stage design surfaced as the curtains opened with the escalating stairs, the big white moon and pyramids on each side.
The musicians started introducing the first song off the album “Rise.” Then two vocalists started walking on stage and right behind them came Solange.
As soon as Solange walked on stage, it was a moment of pure honesty as everyone stood on their feet. And everyone stayed standing up until the very end.
The order of songs performed seemed to parallel the tracklist, as the first performance was “Rise,” followed by “Weary,” “Cranes In the Sky” and “Don’t You Wait.” The crowd was singing along and going crazy as Solange so ethereally transitioned through her contemporary dance moves.
She would be dancing contemporary and then all of a sudden- would get down, twerk, kick her legs and flip her hair so freely all around. The crowd was living for it. There was a realness to her transitions. Life isn’t always ‘contemporary’ and ‘ethereal’ sometimes you want to scream (which she did), you want to twerk to the beat (which she did) and you want to unapologetically BE, which she always is.
Solange proceeded to perform “Mad,” and at this point, the fiery red light that was honing the stage changed to a calming blue. Through her performance of “Mad” the blue changed back to red and the trumpets are playing loud in synchronization with the choreography.
After “Mad,” she performed it’s “F.U.B.U” and mid-song, Solange danced through the crowd and the adrenaline, emotions and sing-alongs heightened. She made the audience and fans part of the performance. She was singing “For Us, By Us” as she walked through the audience. It was somewhat symbolic.
She performed “Borderline” next and I bet it made every girl want to shake her hips, sway her arms and sing her heart out up on that stage. It was groovy and moody, all the way.
For the song that came after, Solange let us know that she’s “takin’ it back” for those who were “rockin’” with her since the beginning and performed “Crush.” Then right after she began to deliver a heartfelt message: “New York City. This is something special tonight.”
“After I turned in the record. I was filled still with so much pain and anguish and rage and sadness and navigating through some of the things that I was working through, some of the micro-aggressions I was going through on the day to day basis. Some of the trauma that exists when you exist in this country as a Black woman.”
“I remember feeling it so much that as soon as I turned in the record, it was actually going to come out 72 hours later, because for me, it was not about having this set-up and having this whole line-up and journey and marketing and promotion and sh*t. I needed to put the album out, to heal for myself. And so, as soon as it was ready, I was like let’s put it out. My husband and I went to this little town in Mexico and cut off our phones and I began to start to work on myself internally, and spiritually and physically and emotionally. We took a road trip and as soon as we got service after two days of being there, I did what most of us would do which was, log on to the gram’ real fast while I had service. I remember just looking and scrolling down and seeing the album cover on all of my friends’ pages and people who I love and admire so much and truly, it is because of you guys and you spreading the word of this album, and you connecting to this album so much that I’m here tonight in Radio City Music Hall.”
“I perform “Crush” and songs off of ‘True’ because I do honor my earlier work, it was a part of me. I’m so thankful for the ones who have come along with me on this journey, whenever you came on the journey, and you have allowed me to wholeheartedly be me at that present time. And to evolve and experiment and to explore in different mediums and to blow up big ass beach balls and pyramids, and choreograph and curate and that means so much to me even if you don’t relate or connect with it all, you give me the space to be me and I really really appreciate that.”
She then introduced one of her older tracks “T.O.N.Y.”
“T.O.N.Y” is one of Solange’s more upbeat tracks but she slowed it down and melted our hearts in the process, with perfect pitch and a captivating presence. Artistry, artistry, artistry.
As if the show couldn’t get any better, Solange brought out Verdine White from Earth, Wind and, Fire and performed “Bad Girls”. It was truly a moment. Everyone was just celebrating what we were witnessing. We were celebrating Solange, we were celebrating music. The energy was electric.
The celebration continued with “Losing You” as Solange demanded from the audience: “when this beat drops, I want you to motherf*ckin dance” – danced and jumped around in glee, everyone sure did.
Suddenly, the song came to a halt and Solange said goodbye and ran off the stage. The fans knew that “goodbye” was a joke. Everyone was whispering “she’s coming back” and she did.
She had a larger band take the stage and after an outfit change, she beautifully performed “Don’t Touch My Hair”. The dancing and energy were amplified leading to a truly grand finale. And after that, it really was goodbye.
— Farah (@idr_farah) October 3, 2017